Chapter 13: Oral Secrets, #6
6th saying: Grasp Sparrow’s Tail is like two people using a pull-saw
This means the tuishou of peng, lu, ji, an also
has mutual pushing (tui) back and forth,
just like the pull-saw.
In the pull-saw (example),
(if) each person applies force evenly,
then (the saw) can move back and forth unimpeded and without obstruction (smoothly)
If one side wants to change (the action) even a little,
then the saw teeth will bind.
if binding happens from the other (partner/opponent) exerting,
then even if I want to use force, I cannot pull (the saw) back (towards me).
The only possibility to regain (our) mutual pushing (sawing smoothly),
is to use pushing force (tui + li) to send it (towards the other).
This principle for tuishou in taiji quan has two meanings (yi).
First saying: abandon the self, follow the other.
(By) following (going with) the other’s position (situation),
(I) can achieve the marvelous application of hua jin and zou jin.
Second saying: (if) the other moves even slightly,
I move first.
This (saying means that):
If the other wants to use push li at the time of delivering (energy),
then I, matching (the other), first use pull li to receive (towards myself).
If the other wants to use pull li at the time of going-away (removing),
then I, matching, first use push li to send out removing (towards the other).
(first means before the other)
By means of the metaphor of the pull-saw,
the (underlying) principle can be explained with penetrating clarity.
This really is a true family transmission of a wonderful technique.
(Studying the metaphor), I suddenly achieved a big realization.
Namely, this is the source of gongfu:
“If the other moves even slightly, I move first”.
If I (develop) ability at this skill,
then (the interaction) is controlled by me, not the other.
The remainder is simply that which builds on this theory (lun).
推手 tuishou: push hands. peng, lu, ji, an are wardoff, rollback, press, and push.
拉鋸 laju: literally pull+saw. What we call a two person saw
攬雀尾 lan que wei: Grasp Sparrow’s Tail. The Wardoff/rollback/press/push sequence.
妙用 mianyong: marvelous application. Mian is marvellous, subtle, wonderful.
化勁, 走勁 hua jin and zou jin. Two jins: ways to move or interact with energy in the body or the other. hua is transform or change and hua jin is often called neutralizing skill or neutralizing energy. zou is walk-with, go-along-with, depart and zou jin is often called yielding skill or yielding energy.
妙訣 mianjue: wonderful technique. Mian is marvellous as above. Jue implies a tactic or trick of the trade. Trick of the trade is nice since this is describing one of the secret family knacks.
論 lun: theory or treatise. Name of one of the classics (Wang Zongyue’s _Taijiquan Lun_).
Zheng-zi 13 Chapters, Translation by Lee Fife is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://rockymountaintaichi.com/.